L.A. Speed Story (SR-71)

RDoug

Well-Known Member
Forgive me if this has been previously linked, but I found this great (and funny) video on a friend's Facebook timeline page and thought y'all might enjoy it:

 

NovemberEcho

Dergs favorite member
I’ve heard this for several years and I’ve always wondered how true it is. Firstly, I don’t know how high that Cessna was flying but its not likely he’d be talking to the same controller as the one working FL600+. And we can only see ground speed rounded to the nearest 10.
 

bucksmith

Did you lock the doors?
I’ve heard this for several years and I’ve always wondered how true it is. Firstly, I don’t know how high that Cessna was flying but its not likely he’d be talking to the same controller as the one working FL600+. And we can only see ground speed rounded to the nearest 10.
A little exaggeration makes a true story a lot better, often times. You should know that, given your current residence. That's why people from New Jersey talk with our hands. Once you reach the spoken BS capacity, we need a way make up the difference if we were to stand a chance to compete with the BS coming from a NYer!
 

msmspilot

Well-Known Member
I’ve heard this for several years and I’ve always wondered how true it is. Firstly, I don’t know how high that Cessna was flying but its not likely he’d be talking to the same controller as the one working FL600+. And we can only see ground speed rounded to the nearest 10.
It’s from a book called Sled Driver. Brian Schul tells it as a story from his flying the SR-71.

My personal favorite SR-71 story:
https://www.planeandpilotmag.com/article/speed-is-life/
 

A Life Aloft

Well-Known Member
I watched this video just a few days ago. It's part of a series I am watching called Veteran Tales along with the series/interviews called Vietnam Voices that I am also wading through. Anyways, I watched the video above and it referenced the video below that I recently watched. It's a pretty good interview.



Colonel Graham entered Air Force pilot training, receiving his wings in 1965 at Craig AFB, Selma, Alabama. He remained at Craig as a T-37 Instructor Pilot and Flight Examiner until 1970. Upon completion of F-4 fighter training, he flew 210 combat missions over North Vietnam and Laos from 1971-1973.

He was selected to enter the SR-71 strategic reconnaissance program in 1974 at Beale AFB, California. He flew the SR-71 for the next seven years, amassing 756 hours in the worlds fastest and highest flying aircraft. In 1980, he was selected to be the squadron commander of the SR-71 unit at Beale, where he served until his assignment to the Air War College at Maxwell AFB, Montgomery, Alabama.

In June of 1982, he was assigned to the Pentagon to work in Programs and Resources as a strategic force programmer. In 1984 he was promoted to colonel and selected to work in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force, working closely on budgetary matters with the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Air Staff.

In 1986, Colonel Graham was the Vice Wing Commander at Beale AFB. In June of 1987 he was selected to be the 9th Wing Commander. During that time he was privileged to be able to fly the SR-71, U-2, T-38 and KC-135Q concurrently, for over two years. During his 25 years of service, he amassed 4,600 hours, retiring from the Air Force in 1989. His military decorations include three Legion of Merit awards, four Distinguished Flying Cross medals and 19 Air Medals.

Upon retirement from the Air Force, he joined American Airlines in Dallas, Texas. After flying 13 years at American, he retired in August 2002 as a Captain on the MD-80 aircraft, with over 7,500 hours. He now spends his time as an author, speaker, aviation consultant, and flight instructor. Col. Graham is currently a mission and check pilot with the Civil Air Patrol squadron in Dallas.

He has written two books, "SR-71 Revealed, The Inside Story," and "SR-71 Blackbird: Stories, Tales, and Legends." A veteran of 15 years of assignments within the SR-71 community, he is uniquely qualified to tell the SR-71 story. Colonel Graham was the 1999 recipient of the University of Nebraska's William F. Shea Award for his distinguished contribution to aviation. He was selected to be a Distinguished Lecturer for the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA). In 2005, the Blackbird Association awarded him the Kelly Johnson trophy, a lifetime achievement award for his work to perpetuate, foster and improve the SR-71.

This is also very interesting.


 
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U_of_I_Tweak

Well-Known Member
Might have something to do with him charging $500 for his autographed biography....
I had heard of the negative reputation via the interwebz and allowed it to color my view. Then one afternoon, wasting time watching YouTube, I stumbled across an hour long talk he gave to a museum or veteran's group. The guy is a hell of a speaker, and his message was excellent. Long story short, he was in a crash, I think an F105, and suffered severe burns. He had been told his career was over. Instead he recovered and excelled to the point of getting an SR-71 slot.

I know in a speaking engagement, he has a lot of power to cultivate an image, but it really changed my thoughts about him, which were probably unfair to begin with. Finally I seem to recall the reason the book is so expensive is because of limited printing and much of the proceeds are donated, but don't quote me on that.



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Springer

Well-Known Member
Here is a vid of another -71 pilot Ed Yeilding who holds the transcon speed record. One of the most unassuming pilots you could meet. He later flew for NWA/DAL.

 
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bucksmith

Did you lock the doors?
It’s from a book called Sled Driver. Brian Schul tells it as a story from his flying the SR-71.

My personal favorite SR-71 story:
https://www.planeandpilotmag.com/article/speed-is-life/
FIrst time I heard your favorite story was from the perspective of the guy that called in the favor and arranged the fly by. He was also standing in the tower that day. That's the neat thing about flight instructing in the D.C. area, you never know who your next student could be. So that makes it my favorite blackbird story too.
 

msmspilot

Well-Known Member
FIrst time I heard your favorite story was from the perspective of the guy that called in the favor and arranged the fly by. He was also standing in the tower that day. That's the neat thing about flight instructing in the D.C. area, you never know who your next student could be. So that makes it my favorite blackbird story too.
I would LOVE to hear that story from the perspective of being in the tower. I'm sure it's a hoot.
 

Itchy

Well-Known Member
The author/speaker carries (dunno if it is deserved or not) of stretching the truth here and there. Meh, if it helps him crush the nut and no victims, whatever...
 
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